Forget Sunk Cost—What's the Best Way to Spend Bertha's Remaining Funds?

Seattle’s massive highway tunneling project delays while solutions are sought for the mechanical error that brought the project’s massive drilling machine, Bertha, to a halt. Some are starting to examine life after Bertha.

Ben Schiendelman sees solutions for the Bertha mess, and they don't involve fixing Bertha. In fact, the writer never agreed that the Washington State Department of Transportation's tunnel project was the best way to meet the capacity currently carried by the Alaskan Way Viaduct: "That’s just how cost-ineffective this tunnel really is – most of this capacity can be met with an order of magnitude less money. Sure, the trips in cars aren’t as fast, but the trips on transit are much faster..."

If the state pulled the plug on the tunnel project, there would be about $800 million leftover from the project. For $150 million, Schiendelman claims the state could accomplish three things that would meet the required 60,000 car-trip capacity of the viaduct: 1) Reconnecting the street grid in South Lake Union, 2) the Center City Connector, and 3) RapidRide bus priority projects. Schiendelman gets the 60,000 number from data recently released by the Seattle Department of Transportation

Full Story: What Could $800 Million Do?


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